Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

When I was a sophomore in high school I took a wildlife biology class. I hated it from the first day. Biology never really did hold my attention in those days, and the teacher was terribly boring. A couple weeks into the class I entered the room to find the tables that lined two of the classroom's walls covered with small samples of animal pelts, skins, teeth, bones and the like. The teacher informed us that we were going to be free to go around the room and check out all the samples. We would be allowed to touch them. But then he became obnoxiously condescending. He told us that many of the samples were from his personal collection and that we should be very thankful that he had brought them in. And moreover, because they were his personal property, we should not steal them. Now I doubt that anyone had planned to take a gopher tooth home that day; I know I hadn't. But when he began going on and on about how important these things were because they were his, I pretty much knew I would be stealing something. I hated being talked to like a child even then. And I was offended by the notion that he would have apparently been fine with us stealing whatever we wanted had it been the property of the school.  Eventually he stopped talking and we began our examinations. I was looking at a turtle shell when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a patch of pubic hair. I dropped the shell and made haste for the fur. The closer I got, the more sure I was that it was pubic hair. It could hardly be anything else. When I got there, I was thrilled to find myself alone with the patch. It was a dense mat of fur measuring maybe 3 inches x 3 inches. I couldn't see the label which identified what I was holding, so I turned it over. And there, written on the animal hide in red ink, was the word: Beaver.

To my credit, I composed myself quickly and looked around the room. No one was watching me so I quickly slipped the beaver into my pocket. I displayed it prominently in my bedroom for many years. Even now, 20 years later, it is still with me, in the one box of random stuff from my youth that I allow myself to keep.  My question is this:  Should I feel bad about stealing from my teacher? I don't.



Dear Tom,

What can I say dude? You did the right thing when you took it, there is no doubt about that. That teacher was either an idiot or Teacher of the Year! If he was an idiot, he didn't deserve such a treasure and if he was in on the joke, he wanted to pass it on to the next generation. I am most proud of you for keeping it all these years. Right next to your prom date's garter belt, I bet. You old sonofabitch!


p.s. If you write me again get to the point quicker. That letter was longer than it needed to be.

1 comment:

  1. i threw my head back and laughed at the p.s. part. the rest of it was funny, too. i was just sayin'